Yes, we`re here at last but not without several dramas on the way! The flight to Dubai was OK except for being 7 hours of screaming babies. As usual, Daughter`s ears hurt excruciatingly when coming in to land, but a kind fellow passenger shared a tip which cured her almost instantly. It was a particularly rough landing though, as there was a storm raging in Dubai.
It was the onward flight where things started to get really hairy. From takeoff, we had rollercoaster-style turbulence which at times got quite scary. Then Daughter suddenly threw up everywhere. Now, she`s not the sort of child who often throws up so this was a little disconcerting. Sadly (for Japan at least) the flight was only about a quarter full. It seems people just aren`t coming to Japan at the moment and we were among only a handful of Westerners on the flight. However, this meant we could lay out full-length across the empty seats and so get some rest.
Daughter managed to rest for a few hours, then woke up, threw up again, and announced she couldn`t see anything!!! Let me tell you, at 30,000 feet that`s not a great thing to hear, and I think the sight of her wide-eyed-but-not-seeing face will stay with me for ever. Of course, we had to act as though we weren`t scared witless, for her sake.
Fortunately, after a bit more throwing up and resting, her vision returned. But by the end of the flight she felt so weak the cabin crew (who were brilliant throughout, btw) called for a wheelchair to take her off the plane. So by the time we got to immigration, everything was eerily quiet and Daughter was wheeled straight into the doctor`s room for a check over. He did mention the word `quarantine` but eventually let us go, after handing us a delux plastic sick bag and mumbling something about it being much better to use than the paper ones off the plane.
Because of Daughter`s condition, we thought the best thing to do was instead of taking the bumpy old bus we usually do to get to Kyoto, we`d go all posh and fork out for the Shinkansen, which turned out to be not too much more expensive but a much smoother ride. Poor Daughter had to abandon the wheelchair and we practically carried her onto the train. Thankfully we all slept a bit on the train, Daughter slept right the way to Kyoto and woke up with colour in her cheeks and feeling much better.
Thinking surely it`s got to be plain sailing from here, and as our house was on the other side of town, we took a taxi. As usual, with 4 people`s cases the driver had to bungee the boot of the taxi down, but this seems perfectly acceptable in Kyoto so all was fine...until one of the cases fell out half way up a busy street! Apart from a few scratches to the brand new, shiny red hard case, no harm done though, phew.
But then we had to find the house. And boy did it take some finding! I know we like `remote`, but the poor driver had never heard of the road and had to look down lots of tiny lanes and reverse back up them again. Bless him, he stopped the meter about 20 minutes before we found the house! He asked a lady for help, who then kept running after us and suggesting other little lanes it might be down. Eventually we found it, and the stress of travelling immediately began to subside. It`s truly a beautiful house (and another blog entry, promise there`ll be pictures next time!). We`d only been in the house for about half an hour when we received our first visitor - yes, the kind lady who`d helped us had stopped by to check we were alright, and that the taxi driver wasn`t too angry with us (or her) for not being able to find the place. She spoke no English, so I think that`s why she came round anyway...but this simple gesture of kindness is one reason why we love Japan so much.
That`s more than enough for now, sorry to go on so much, but am pleased to report that today Daughter is much better and we`re all looking forward to the adventures that tomorrow will bring xxx